Extrageniculate mediation of unconscious vision in transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced blindsight

Tony Ro, Dominique Shelton, Olivia L. Lee, Erik Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The proposed neural mechanisms supporting blindsight, the above-chance performance of cortically blind patients on forced-choice visual discrimination tasks, are controversial. In this article, we show that although subjects were unable to perceive foveally presented visual stimuli when transcranial magnetic stimulation over the visual cortex induced a scotoma, responses nonetheless were delayed significantly by these unconscious distractors in a directed saccade but not in an indirect manual response task. These results suggest that the superior colliculus, which is involved with sensory encoding as well as with the generation of saccadic eye movements, is mediating the unconscious processing of the transcranial magnetic stimulation-suppressed distractors and implicate a role of the retinotectal pathway in many blindsight phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9933-9935
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - 29 Jun 2004


  • Consciousness
  • Human
  • Perception
  • Saccades
  • Visual cortex


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